I started life in mainland China back in the late 70s. Luckily, I was born after the major hard times of famine and strife. Food was still rationed, though. Meat was especially scarce. Therefore, every bit of meat was precious, down to the bones. So my family, and everyone else like us, learned to cook to ensure nothing was wasted, and every thing tasted good.
Bone broth was a staple in our diet. Who knew we were ahead of the food trend by, like, decades.
I still cook using a lot of those old customs. For example, I prefer meats with bones. It doesn’t matter if I’m preparing chicken, beef, pork or venison. Bones impart natural flavor to any roast or stew. After hours of slow roasting, those bones slides right off the meat to be tossed into a pot of cold water for a nice broth.
Add anise, garlic, slices of onion (green and/or white), and a few slices of ginger to the pot of water and bring the whole thing to a boil. Then immediately lower the heat and let it simmer for a few hours until it turns a golden brown. The longer it cooks, the richer the broth. I’ve cooked broth for a whole day using this method, so the time really depends on how intense you like your broth. But the stovetop method should yield broth after 2-3 hours.
Once that golden color is achieved, pour the finished product through a strainer into a clean bowl before serving.
I don’t mind the oil at the top of the broth, but it can be easily skimmed off the top once the broth boils. Or you can wait till the broth is done, strain it into a container, and let the whole thing chill in the fridge. Remove the layer of white solids from on the top before using the broth however you’d like.
Yes, you can use a slow cooker to make broth. It may take a day or two, but should yield similar results.
What happened if you just have a piece of raw bone with very little meat? First of all, don’t worry about any bits of meat and gristle. I bake the entire bone on a foiled cookie sheet, with a light drizzle of oil, at 350 F for about 30 minutes. Then, toss it into the pot of cold water with seasoning as recommended above.
I just think the flavor is deeper and more robust when the bone is roasted a bit first.
Bone broth can be enjoyed as is. Or it can be stored, frozen, to be used in soups.
It happens to be my favorite braising liquid.
It takes a few steps to get a great broth, but I love the flavor more than store bought. I think you will too.